There is a traditional order for the designs in a standard Lenormand fortune-telling pack, starting with a male rider on card 1. However, in this pack from Piatnik dating from c1960 according to Jensen¹, the order is different, with a man in a top hat and carrying a cane on card 1 – the same image as appears on card 28 in a modern pack. Cards 1 to 4 are the four Aces, followed by the remaining cards in strict order (K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 on cards 5 to 12, etc.), whereas in a modern pack the suits are jumbled up. The maker’s name appears in full on cards 1 and 3, as it does on cards 25 and 28 in a modern pack. The maker’s initials (FPS) appear in the top right-hand corner of every card (as they do in a modern pack), and twice on cards 3 and 18.
What is curious is that, when one opens a modern pack from Piatnik, one finds that the card designs are in exactly the same order as in the older pack. This suggests that the layout of the designs on the sheet prior to cutting is exactly the same as it was when the older pack was being produced. The back design in dark blue – brown in a modern pack – features two birds with outstretched wings. The booklet is in German only, whereas in a modern pack it is in German, English and French. The tuck box gives the appearance of being older than Jensen¹ suggests. See the box & booklet►
Comparison of 1960 pack (top row) with traditional order (below)
1 Jensen, K. Frank: The Prophetic Cards. Roskilde, Denmark; 1985. Cat. no. 1.20.
Member since May 31, 2022
Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.
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